Miette’s Bedtime Podcast is a distinguished podcast known for featuring classic and contemporary short stories by great & overlooked writers. Recently she did a reading of the great story A Woman of Properties which comes from the Crazy Woman short story collection. (Download the mp3 here). This was a story that despite the mundane situation has a lot of psychological depth and characterization. A haughty middle-aged woman in real estate inspects a house she intends to buy… but alas, she has an ulterior motive for buying it…
Here’s a random quote:
Mr. Cobb stamped his foot on the porch. “Solid as a rock,” he said. “Solid oak. Double flooring, even out here on the porch. They don’t build them like this anymore. Solid as a rock.”
At that moment, for no apparent reason, Mrs. Groestli was filled with a sudden, wrathful intolerance, and she fastened upon Mr. Cobb’s locution. Why did they always say solid as a rock? a needlessly anguished voice cried out in her head. Why didn’t they say as solid as a noodle? Or as solid as a party hat? Or as solid as a week of Sundays?
Oh, that Mrs. Groestli character is something else.
As usual, Miette brought the story to life; let me recommend some other amazing stories she has read on her site: Lydia Millet’s Sir Henry, Benito Lynch’s The Sorrel Colt, Dino Buzzati’s The Falling Girl, Monica Wood’s Disappearing, Jean Stafford’s Interior Castle, Jack London’s Adventure in the Upper Sea. (Most of the other titles are also excellent, but these are the ones whose titles stood out to me). Miette is also reading stories for Iambic Audiobooks, a great source of low-cost audiobooks.